The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child had an online meeting with representatives of civil society in order to form a List of Issues to the government of Ukraine on the observance of children’s rights.
ADC Memorial in partnership with the Center for social and gender studies “New life” raised the issue of transit children’s reception centers governed by the National police, the need to stop the practice of migration detention of children and the adoption of bilateral intergovernmental agreements on repatriation of children – taking into account modern Human Rights standards and replacing the outdated Chisinau agreement. As part of the ADC Memorial campaign #CrossBorderChildhood, a model agreement on the repatriation of children was developed and discussed by representatives of Ukraine and Moldova.
In its statement, ADC Memorial highlighted another aspect of the problem of migration, freedom of movement and closed borders in the context of the pandemic: the recent situation when representatives of the Hasidic religious community were not allowed to enter Ukraine, as a result hundreds of people, including children of different ages, spent a significant time on no-man’s land suffering from extreme stress, lack of food and water, camping in inappropriate conditions on the no-man’s land, facing roadblock by military forces. The Ukrainian authorities, knowing about the custom of the annual Hasidic pilgrimage to Uman, should have paid more attention to informing about anti-epidemic measures and take into account the needs of children traveling with their families. Criticism was also aroused by harsh statements by Ukrainian officials ignoring the danger of anti-Semitism and prejudice against religious Jews.
During the dialogue, ADC Memorial expressed concern about the impact of the epidemic on the situation of children from vulnerable groups, in particular, the high risk of interruption of education by Roma children.
In mid-October 2020, the Committee will send its questions to the authorities of Ukraine; the state report will be considered in 2021.